Grind in your 20’s.
Build in your 30’s.
Chill in your 40’s.
Every once in a while, my actual profession will come up during a conversation, which leads into the same scripted interaction. “Wouldn’t you be making more money in what you’re trained in?” My reply is always the same. “Yes. And I would also have to work between 60 to 80 hours a week, including weekends. Last time I did it, I missed out on my family, all the while thinking I was providing for my family. I don’t think being able to buy more stuff I don’t really need and filling my professional ego isn’t worth losing my family. Do you?”
Almost every Personal Empowerment site and program can be broken down into two focuses. On one side, they promote the idea that “Become a better man” automatically leads to “make more money.” On the other side “Become a better man” will lead to get more women. There is a third camp out there, the one that I have tried to keep in mind when posting on Caballero. “Become a better man” will lead you to become a better man; for yourself and your family.
Let’s be absolutely clear here, I’m not talking about leading a hermit’s life of austerity. If you need to work 80 hours a week to make ends meet, do so. And I also believe that even through money doesn’t buy happiness, not having enough to survive is pretty miserable. With that said, if you’re well enough to survive, your well enough to spend time on what matters.
A man must be defined by his priorities, not by his desires.
Sure, you might lie to yourself, as you justify working all those hours with the excuse to go on that family vacation, or buy that gift, or provide a bigger home or a fancy car. If you believe that your worth is only measured by how much material gain you can provide, you should seriously reconsider what you have to offer those around you. If those around you only appreciate what material gains you have to offer, you should reconsider the kind of people around you.
Way too many men end up with dead souls by the time they are 40, and many of them end up actually taking their lives because of it. This isn’t about just making a living, but about saving your life. Work enough to make enough. Then start working on what matters. Spend time on yourself, on your family, and on your friends. Your boss isn’t willing to understand that you have no intention on killing yourself for him to make profit? Consider a new job. Your professional obligations won’t let you spend time with your spouse and kids? Consider a career change.
Always keep in mind that money can’t buy back time lost and you can’t buy your way out of regret.
To the younger guys getting started in the daily grind. Before you think of this post as proof that you don’t need an education nor to pay your dues on your way up…remember that I can take these kind of decisions because I already racked up enough of a resume to let me pick and choose my future.